Follow Christ

Sunday, January 26

running puppyBy John Wight, senior president of seventy

…“Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

—Matthew 4:19–20

I love animals—tame and wild. I believe they are a real gift from God. Through the years, I have had several dogs and a couple of cats. These animals have taught me much. Some of their teaching relates to the life and ministry of Jesus. Some relates to Christ’s calling and the expected behaviors of disciples. Let me explain.

Each of my dogs displayed great excitement on seeing me—wagging their tails, following me wherever I went, just happy to be with me. The cats, on the other hand, were aloof. Oh, they liked being around me, but on their terms, not mine.

If I called one of the dogs, it immediately would leave what it was doing and happily run to be with me. If I called one of the cats, however, it would look up and dismiss my call with a look that might have said, “No, I’m not ready to come to you right now. I’ll let you know when I’m ready.”

According to Matthew 4, when Jesus called Peter, James, John, and Andrew, they “immediately” left everything—jobs, possessions, even family—to follow him. Christ challenges any follower of his to have a similar response to Jesus’ invitation. If not literally to leave those possessions behind, to at least have a heart that causes them to want to follow Christ first, rather than on their own schedule or simply when it is convenient.

To put it another way, those who would follow Christ must be “canine” Christians rather than “feline” Christians. Which are you?

Prayer for Peace
Creator God, we learn life’s lessons from many realms of your creation. We see the mother bird who knows when to nudge the fledgling from the nest. We see a tight line of ducklings following their parents. We see the orderly flight of geese, breaking pattern only to help another goose in distress. We see bison circling calves to protect them; dogs leading the blind and saving lives.

Our pets bring comfort and warn us of danger. You have likened us to sheep, needing a shepherd to find us when we are lost and to lead us when we go astray. We follow you for safety, Lord, but also for the love of your company.

Spiritual Practice: Invite People to Christ
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 162:3b and 163:2b. Pray to be aware of people who might be receptive, and therefore blessed, by your sharing the message of the Living Christ. Imagine being in relationship with them and inviting them to follow Christ. In preparation, discover your personal testimony of Christ. Be “persistent in your witness and diligent in your mission to the world.” Repeat this mantra throughout the day: “Christ’s mission, our mission, my mission.”

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will be still, and be happy to be with you.

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